Interview with Rozsa Gaston, Author of Running from Love
Rozsa Gaston is an author who writes serious books on playful matters. She is the author of Running from Love, Paris Adieu, Dogsitters, Budapest Romance, Lyric, and the soon to be released Paris Adieu sequel, Black is Not a Color Unless Worn By a Blonde. Rozsa studied European intellectual history at Yale, and then received her master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia. In between Rozsa worked as a singer/pianist all over the world. She currently lives in Connecticut with her family and runs with Van Cortlandt Track Club in the Bronx, NY. Visit Rozsa at her website, www.rozsagaston.com or join the discussion of runners and romance and like her at www.facebook.com/runningfromlove.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I always wanted to be someone else when I was a child. I was raised by my grandparents as an only child, and I always wanted to have brothers and sisters and a father and mother around. I think a lot of readers may relate to those unfulfilled longings.
Where did you grow up?
West Hartford, Connecticut.
What is your fondest childhood memory?
Sitting out on the back patio in the summertime with my grandmother, looking at the sun go down over Avon Mountain while sipping black cows. I wrote a short story about it—"Black Cows at Sunset."
When did you begin writing?
Eight years ago in July, our daughter received a diagnosis of a permanent condition. I couldn't process it. That August I holed up in our study for the entire month and wrote my first book, Mystique. I was hooked on writing after that.
Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
I'm like Balzac in my writing habits. He used to write every day from seven to eleven A.M. then go out to a cafe for lunch, then spend the rest of the day doing other things.
I write from eight thirty A.M. to three P.M., Mondays through Fridays. I'd love to go out to a cafe afterward, where I could sip a cappucino while editing my work. I just can't find any cafes in my neighborhood to go out to. It's probably just as well, since I have an eleven-year-old, a two-year-old, a husband and a dog to keep me busy when I'm not writing. What is this book about?
Running from Love is about overcoming fears: 1) fear of falling in love again after getting burned the first time, and 2) fear of running downhill fast.
Farrah Foley runs the way she runs her love life—too cautiously. She slows down when it's time to fly. Getting dumped with no explanation by the love of her life, she's determined never to find herself in that position again.
When Jude Farnesworth comes along, Farrah is intrigued but fears she can't compete with the kind of high society women he's surrounded by from his town of Greenwich, Connecticut. Raised in Queens, she lives in the Bronx, where she runs with the Van Cortlandt Track Club. Down-to-earth yet vulnerable, she has no idea that Jude is attracted to the qualities in her she's trying hardest to hide.
Growing up on the fringes of affluence, Jude wants to write about straddling two groups, belonging to neither. But first he needs to finish ghostwriting TV financial expert Dan Perlstein's latest book "How to Marry Money." When Jude meets Farrah, for the first time he can see himself as an insider, the only other member of Farrah's club. But when Farrah discovers what Jude is writing about, she leaves him behind in the dust. Will Jude be able to catch her at the finish line?
What inspired you to write it?
The inspiration for Running from Love is my own track club, the Van Cortlandt Track Club of the Bronx, NY. The Van Cortlandt Track Club is based in Van Cortlandt Park in the northwest Bronx, next to Riverdale, the Bronx's wealthiest neighborhood. Some of New York City's finest private schools are located here and notables such as Joseph Kennedy and Arthur Toscanini lived in Riverdale. Running from Love is a paean to Riverdale and Van Cortlandt Park—a modest, homey area surrounded by natural beauty and overlooking the Hudson River.
Yes. Bronx mojo goes up against Gold Coast style when Farrah Foley of Van Cortlandt Track Club in the Bronx meets Jude Farnsworth of Greenwich Track Club. Cultural contrasts between the Bronx, New York, and Greenwich, Connecticut are vast. It's a rich topic to explore. I hope my readers will have as much fun reading about the contrasts of these two clashing cultures as I did writing about them.
Who is your favorite author?
Françoise Sagan really bowled me over with Bonjour Tristesse. I'd love to hate her since she wrote it when she was seventeen, but I'm too busy learning from her for her spare, elegant prose style.
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
Running from Love is available in paperback and for Kindle at amazon.com at http://amzn.to/PUiQWx. The Kindle Edition is available FREE on Amazon.com for two days only, Thurs., Dec. 27 and Fri., Dec. 28.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?
I have two pieces of advice I'd like to share.
Never stop writing. Write because you love to write, because you can't live without writing. The more you write, the more your writing will improve.
Don't be afraid to offer the same message again and again. If it's a good one, people will want to hear it again and again. Messages on forgiveness, sacrificial love, revenge, ambition, passion, loss, desire don't get old. Readers will always be interested if they're delivered in readable, well-crafted prose.
What is up next for you?
I'm hard at work on Paris Adieu's sequel, Black is Not a Color ... Unless Worn by a Blonde. It's the story of a young woman's relationship with her father, who has a heart attack soon after she returns to New York from Paris. Caring for him consumes Ava, putting the brakes on her budding romance with Pierre, the Frenchman she has met at the end of Paris Adieu. There's another more important man in her life whom she needs to figure out first.
Zsolt Fodor is a Hungarian poet fond of saying crazy, cryptic things such as "black is not a color unless worn by a blonde." No one understands him, foremost of all, his daughter. Ava learns how to accept, love, and care for the man who fathered, but didn't raise her. It's a struggle, but with the help of friends she's made at her new job at the United Nations—a few Serbs and a Romanian—she begins to understand something of her father's own fractured background and the difficulties he has endured as an immigrant in New York City. By learning to love and forgive her father, Ava learns how to look at men in a new light. But is it too late to find Pierre again? I can't wait to finish the story and find out myself, so I can share it with my readers.
Any final words?
Start off the new year right and read about how to overcome relationship and running fears by downloading Running from Love for FREE onto your Kindle, iPad, iPhone, or other device on Thurs., Dec. 28 or Fri., Dec. 29 only. If you've ever thought about dating a runner from your running club, or if you've ever wondered how to move on from fear of falling in love again after a bad experience, Running from Love is the book for you.